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The college football fan's guide to Super Bowl 2016

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Cam Newton at the 2015 Iron Bowl
Cam Newton at the 2015 Iron Bowl
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Hello, the Super Bowl is happening tonight. Here is NFL coverage of itCoverage for most normal humans is here. And here are some notes for the sort of person you and I are.

(If you're in the dark about the Broncos and Panthers, just know Denver's got the country's league's best defense, with a veteran quarterback who was on another championship team for a long time -- Roll Tide! -- while the Panthers have an unstoppable, dual-threat youngster and maybe the second-best defense -- hey there, Clemson!)

(Also, this time the Carolina team has the head coach more likely to pull the surprise onside kick. Guess that was true in the National Championship too, though.)

If you don't have rooting interests yet, here you go: the Panthers and Broncos rosters, broken down by college and conference. Ohio State and the SEC lead overall, with Carolina having three non-Cam Newton Auburn Tigers and Peyton Manning being just one of Denver's three Vols. The Panthers are appropriately more ACC, and the Broncos are more ... well, more Mountain West, at least.

Last year, much was made of the Patriots and Seahawks putting on an all-unheralded Super Bowl, as far as recruiting ratings go. This time, both starting lineups were more highly rated as high schoolers, but if you're a fan of two-stars, you're rooting for the Broncos. The Panthers would've been all-state for sure.

Before he was the best NFL player or the best college player, he was a JUCO player. This story about one of sports' biggest stars playing at a nondescript junior college is good. This part by his JUCO coach will make you think of Tim Tebow, the QB Newton would've sat behind at Florida had he stayed?

There were some questions. Obviously Cam is a physical presence and [his family] wanted to know that we were going to work on his progress as a passer --€” a pocket passer, a play-action passer --€” as opposed to just running the option. They didn't want to come to Blinn if we were just going to use him as an option quarterback to try to win games and let him run over everybody.

This is probably the last game of Manning's career. Tennessee fans rightfully have some emotions about this.


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Michigan currently holds the record for Super Bowl MVPs by college, thanks mostly to Tom Brady. Of the four in second -- Alabama, Georgia, Notre Dame and USC -- I guess UGA has the best chance to tie, thanks to Charles Johnson and Thomas Davis?

"If we gave Cam Newton $200,000 to come to Auburn," Charles Barkley said this week, "boy, that was a good investment. I wish my financial people had good investments like that." Same.

Demaryius Thomas on his newly freed mother is must-read:

For 15 years, my mamma was gone. She was in prison before I ever started playing football. She never got to see me take the field. Never got to see me graduate high school. Never got to see how I blocked my butt off at Georgia Tech running the triple-option and never complained, never quit. I didn't have much to hold onto, except that I knew she was proud of me.

They made a movie about a Panthers offensive lineman. It's called The Blind SideMichael Oher didn't like it for a while, but now he appreciates it.

The Every Day Should Be Saturday contribution: giving you many things to call The Big Game without getting sued.

The results of NFL awards night added some hardware to the ethereal trophy cases that will be bragged about by coaches at Auburn, Georgia, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.

Also, schools getting to DM Photoshops of their new Pro Football Hall of Famers to recruits are Alabama (read the awesome story of Ken Stabler here), Auburn, Minnesota, Ohio State, Southern Miss, Syracuse and the mighty San Francisco Dons.

Let us recall Steve Spurrier and Mark Richt thought Newton would've made a fine tight end (the difference being that Richt actually recruited him as a TE).

Von Miller wants to own a chicken farm? I mean, he did go to Texas A&M. And he was doing his part before Signing Day:

So, let's talk some more about Cam Newton. (You Bama fans sick of this yet? Oh, sorry.) Revisiting how the NCAA scandal played out on Twitter five years ago is pretty fun.

J.J. Watt's team is extremely not in the Super Bowl, but I bet you'd like to watch him flex Full House knowledge on our game show.

Also, Longhorns fan Beyoncé is part of the halftime show, so Texas is the only real winner here.